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Friday, June 13, 2008

"Make sure you're not bashing Muslims. Never say Muslims are evil. They're just like you and me."

So speaks Jay Smith, an English Christian who routinely debates Muslims in Hyde Park and elsewhere.

Western seminaries taught Smith "friendship evangelism" as the primary way to share Christ with Muslims. Nothing should offend. Never point out contradictions, inconsistencies, or historical inaccuracies in another person's religious beliefs. Everything aims to convert. Judge results by the number of conversions.

Smith decided to take an alternate approach:

Defend historic, orthodox Christianity.

Answer untruths that Islam proclaims about the Bible, Jesus, and Christians.

Hold Islam itself accountable for the actions of its followers.

"We have to start taking Christ back to his Mediterranean roots," says Smith. "True love confronts friends when they go wrong. Paul certainly argued. Jesus certainly argued. That's the kind of love Muslims need to hear.

"Propositional truth confronts," he argues, in fundamentalist fashion. "If there's not a reaction, we're not preaching the gospel."

In most Muslim-Christian dialogue, Smith believes Christians typically concede on points of orthodox doctrine to make the faith palatable to Muslims. Smith asks: Why should Muslims respect any Christian who distances himself from what he claims to believe?

Read the whole thing.

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